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2019 primary election: 8 vie for 3 Carbon commissioner seats

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    Ahner

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    Boyko

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    Frey

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    Gerhard

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    Jacobs

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    Kresge

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    Lukasevich

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    Nothstein

Published May 18. 2019 06:04AM

 

Eight candidates are vying for three seats in the Carbon County Commissioner race.

We asked each candidate seven questions about various issues facing the county, from capital projects to the tax base.

Here are their answers, broken down alphabetically by political party.

 

Democrat

Rocky Ahner

Background/bio: Owning my own business for over 30 years and the involvement in area nonprofits such as Franklin and Mahoning Fire Companies, Franklin Athletic Association. and Lehighton’s 150th Celebration has shown me the needs of area residents. Speaking in Harrisburg and Washington, D.C., being involved in the Lehighton Drug & Alcohol Task Force, and a current member of Lehighton “MainStreet” steering committee has shown me the concerns of the area residents.

Q: What is the biggest challenge facing the county and how would you resolve it?

A: Jobs are the biggest challenge. We have to break out of the status quo and find new ways to bring jobs and business’s to our area. Training a work force to show businesses that they will have access to skilled workers is crucial. We have great people with great work ethics and spectacular tourist attractions. Let’s not lose any of these characteristics; it’s time for Carbon County to live up to its potential.

Q: Carbon County has made the news this year because of the clerk of courts misappropriation of funds. What steps would you take to improve accountability?

A: Detailed audits and updating the payment process eliminating cash payments in all departments would give the county a more efficient checks and balance practice.

All elected officials are accountable to their constituents and departments. My objective would be to keep an open door policy with every department. This could be done with a brief meeting with each department on their views, concerns and needs to keep the county moving in a positive direction.

Q: What can the county do to solve the opioid crisis?

A: Addiction has a new avenue daily. One day its prescription drugs the next it could be heroin or alcohol. Following the State Drug and Alcohol Task Force plan that would collaborate the Sheriff, DA, Local police departments, Carbon Monroe Pike Drug and Alcohol and other treatment facilities can work. Having only one outpatient treatment center with an overload of cases is not adequate; there is a need for more counselors and providers.

Q: What is the best way to solve the county’s office space shortage?

A: Proposing a new downsized plan for office space on Susquehanna must have more thought and public input. A smaller two story building on the original footprint of the maintenance/archives building could house many offices and would be an easier workable fit for the architectural style of Jim Thorpe. Updating technology would also save space.

Q: What would you do to improve the county’s tax base?

A: Working with area legislators to repair our infrastructure and eliminate blighted areas through the use of State grants would be a start. Making our towns more attractive and roads more accessible will increase our tax base. A meeting with all municipalities and offices of the Carbon Chamber & Economic Development is a must; among local business ideas they have great concepts that work in other counties and states that could attract businesses to our area.

Q: The Carbon prison is often nearing capacity and is now 25 years old. Normal wear and tear is starting to show. What needs to be done to keep the jail operating efficiently?

A: As for overcrowding, an alternate space should be considered for inmates that are on work release and the LEAD program (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion) should be streamlined and used as much as possible. For the building there should be a line item available in the yearly budget for periodic building projects. Updates should be done every year not when it’s too late and cost’s hit the roof creating a major project.

Q: What changes, if any, would you make to human services in the county?

A: Aging, Veteran Affairs, Mental Health, and Child Services are the keys to a healthier county. I would like to boost elderly and veteran programs; these are the people who got us to where we are today. Developing mental health treatment programs and educate women and men that they can live on their own would help some of the homeless issues. Also our children are our future, let’s invest in them.

Q: Are there any issues you have identified?

A: I think there has been a lack of oversight in the business of the county. We need to keep a steadier hand to the duties of our jobs. I’m a fact-based leader. If I don’t know it, I’ll find out. I’ll listen to your input, but in the end, it takes a leader to make these tough decisions. As commissioner I promise to restore confidence in the workings of county government.

 

Robert “Bob” Jacobs

Background/bio: Bob grew up in Nesquehoning and now resides in Towamensing Township. Recently retired, Bob spent his career working in the helping profession. Initially working for Carbon County Juvenile Court, he then transitioned to the charitable community where he later became the Executive Director/CEO of a well-respected, nationally accredited human services organization. Bob is an active civic leader and involved in numerous community initiatives. He earned a master’s degree in public administration from Marywood College. Q: What is the biggest challenge facing the county and how would you resolve it?

A: Carbon County has several large challenges: economic development, substance abuse, inadequate office space, criminal justice reform and others. However, each one of them can be resolved with good, collaborative community planning on the part of our county officials. Through my leadership, Carbon County will have a clear vision and strategic plan. This will allow county government to be more proactive, rather than taking its current reactive approach.

Q: Carbon County has made the news this year because of the Clerk of Courts misappropriation of funds. What steps would you take to improve accountability?

A: Accountability, meaning having the proper check and balances in place to protect the County’s assets from fraudulent activities, will be a priority in my leadership. Through my more than twenty years’ association with a national accreditation body, which has developed best-practice standards on governance and management, we will implement a county-wide performance and quality improvement program. This has been done successfully in other similar size counties.

Q: What can the county do to solve the opioid crisis?

A: No one can deny that solving the opioid crisis is a daunting task. Combating the crisis in Carbon County can be done but only through the development of a comprehensive public/private sector partnership by securing the necessary prevention and treatment resources. We must begin having a community dialogue to talk candidly about the stigma of addiction and the need for inpatient services, recovery houses and more to be offered at the local level.

Q: What is the best way to solve the county’s tax base?

A: The expansion of our tax base can be done through a bold, visionary economic development plan, which does not currently exist in Carbon County. This plan must be based on targeted, yet diverse industries, expanding those that rely on the county’s natural resources for recreation and tourism. This must be done in concert with the protection of our natural resources by the establishment of an Environmental Sustainability Plan. Securing jobs will have a direct impact on housing development.

Q: The Carbon prison is often nearing capacity and is now 25 years old. Normal wear and tear is starting to show. What needs to be done to keep the jail operating efficiently?

A: As a member of both the Criminal Justice Advisory Board and Reentry Coalition, the county jail is discussed often. Wear and tear issues must be handled through planning on the part of the prison board and built into the annual county budget. More important is criminal justice reform. Roughly 70% of the jail population has substance abuse and/or mental health issues. While the county has recently started a drug court, many other programs can reduce incarceration and recidivism.

Q: What changes, if any, would you make to human services in the county?

A: Human services delivery is both a significant financial cost and risk for the County. We are fortunate though to have such dedicated human services professionals. To maintain a competitive edge to attract qualified applicants for civil service positions and to retain staff, the County should assess applicable salaries/wages. A departmental-wide quality assurance program driven by data collection and analysis would greatly benefit the County.

Q: Are there any issues you have identified?

A: Homelessness is a growing community issue in our county. As a result, this candidate was instrumental in organizing the Homelessness Task Force to bring community members together in an effort to gain a greater understanding of the number of persons adversely affected and to develop a community action plan to address it.

 

Shawn Kresge

Background: I reside in Penn Forest with my fiancée and dog. I am Lehighton H.S. graduate. A master electrician and owner of Kresge Services, the 2016 Carbon County Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year. I am part of the MCT Advisory Board, Carbon County Airport Authority and the Penn Forest Zoning Board.

I support many charitable programs including Summit Hill Lions, Family Promise, Franklin, and Jim Thorpe Little Leagues, to name a few.

Q: What is the biggest challenge facing the county and how would you resolve it?

A: Drug addiction is a huge problem, especially for our youth. We lose tons of money and productivity to the opioid crisis and so far, we’ve only applied bandages to the problems without attacking the cause.

We also need to loosen restrictions to make our county more friendly to business start ups which would grow our economy and give people more options for local employment.

Q: Carbon County has made the news this year because of the clerk of courts misappropriation of funds. What steps would you take to improve accountability?

A: I have run my own successful businesses for years, I am very familiar with how cash flow and billing needs to be monitored to make sure that taxpayer monies go where they’re supposed to. We need to do a full review of all monetary practices in all county offices, and insure that all offices are following up to date and transparent fiscal policies.

Q: What can the county do to solve the opioid crisis?

A: There is no easy fix for those who are already addicted.

Q: We need to work on addiction prevention, starting with the doctors who over prescribed the opioids in the first place. I would also increase education about the addictiveness of prescription drugs in our schools.

A: I feel that the new drug courts, and their ability to sentence in new ways, are a step in the right direction.

Q: What is the best way to solve the county’s office space shortage?

A: The county is full of older buildings that need to be rehabilitated. Many of these would be perfect for additional county offices and by bringing these buildings back into a working condition we would increase surrounding property values rather than ruin them. The taxpayer shouldn’t be paying over $1,000,000 per office space, and we certainly shouldn’t risk destruction of our most beautiful historic buildings for any reason.

Q: What would you do to improve the county’s tax base?

A: I would like to see the addition of Economic Improvement Zones similar to the ones that helped revitalize the Lehigh Valley. They are a key component to attracting new businesses. I have been working with the Carbon County Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Commission for years to try to bring in more business to increase the tax base and help everyone’s property values.

Q: The Carbon prison is often nearing capacity and is now 25 years old. Normal wear and tear is starting to show. What needs to be done to keep the jail operating efficiently?

A: Overcrowding is a real issue both for the safety of the guards and the inmates. I support the new drug and veterans’ courts which are designed to reduce intakes and recidivism.

I feel that many of the “issues” at the jail are cosmetic and I would rather not waste tax payer money to make the jail look pretty. However, I would meet with the Warden and his staff to work on any structural issues.

Q: Are there any issues you have identified?

A: The Carbon County staff is being poached. Carbon spends the money to train and certify new hires which we keep for 6 months before they leave for higher paid positions in other counties. Why are we paying for other counties’ training?

It’s time to move Carbon County into the future. We are falling behind and missing opportunities that others are scooping out from under us.

Republican

Tom Boyko

Background: Was orphaned at 12 went through the foster care system. 14 years after high school I opened my first business Boyko Beverage in Towamensing Twp. Went on to be the owner of Checkered Flag Auto Sales. Currently work for the Department Of Transportation. In the last 20 years I learned how to run a successful business budget money,manage employees and obtain long term growth.

Q: What is the biggest challenge facing the county and how would you resolve it?

A: I believe illegal street drugs is our biggest challenge. I would obtain grant funding to fund a larger drug task force use local and state police to get these drug dealers off our streets. I would also help organize a drug awareness program for our schools to show our children the harmful effects of street drugs

Q: Carbon County has made the news this year because of the Clerk of Courts misappropriation of funds. What steps would you take to improve accountability?

A: I would support oversight through the office of the controller to ensure the accountability of funds and utilize the office of the Auditor General to ensure compliance

Q: What can the county do to solve the opioid crisis?

A: I would support specialty courts and alternative sentencing such as rehab as opposed to jail time for residents addicted to prescription drugs

Q: What is the best way to solve the county’s tax base?

A: It would be more cost effective to purchase an existing building and remodel to our needs instead of a costly new building that could jeopardize other structures

I would market our county tailored to businesses that are looking to relocate or expand and would sustain long term growth allowing more business partners so share in the cost on running our county. I would also suggest strategically locating new business along the county owned railroad to increase revenue.

Q: The Carbon prison is often nearing capacity and is now 25 years old. Normal wear and tear is starting to show. What needs to be done to keep the jail operating efficiently?

A: Our County Prison is over populated each day by 25-40 inmates making a dangerous environment for both inmates and staff. i would support alternative sentencing such as home monitoring . The inmate would absorb this cost saving our County $68.00 a day. I would obtain grant funding for much needed expatiation and repairs Q: What changes, if any, would you make to human services in the county?

A: I would seek cooperation from state and federal officials for funding to make human services more affordable and accessible to the community.

Q: Are there any issues you have identified?

A: The increasing cost of running our county is getting out of control. I would vote to explore solar power for our county buildings and implement other cost saving measures. Find innovative ways to increase county revenue through the county owned railroad, parking lot and fairground property.

 

Jason Frey

Background/bio: Within the first year after being elected chairman of the Franklin Township board of supervisors, I followed through on my campaign promises to demonstrate common-sense decision making, improve transparency, and implement a choice of building code inspectors. Additionally, I helped prevent a tax increase, preserved Christman Field and the police department, replaced the zoning officer, helped pave the way for St. Luke’s to build their hospital and supported a Rt. 209 development project.

Q: What is the biggest challenge facing the county and how would you resolve it?

A: The county faces budgetary challenges due to bond commitments, building projects, and property sitting unused. To minimize future tax increases, the county must re-evaluate current projects, eliminate spending on pet projects and focus on priorities that will benefit all taxpayers. If not already done, a 5-10 year plan needs to be written and should include all stakeholders prior to approval, and gain local government and community commitment to move forward.

Q: Carbon County has made the news this year because of the clerk of courts misappropriation of funds. What steps would you take to improve accountability?

A: Technology upgrades can minimize the ability to improperly account for payments. Most county offices do not have the ability to accept electronic or credit card payments. Acceptance of cash payments should be eliminated. Online payment options would reduce the foot traffic through county offices and free up parking for patrons of local businesses. All elected officials and employees must be provided education on ethical business practices and held accountable for following a code of ethics.

Q: What can the county do to solve the opioid crisis?

A: At the local level, the drug and veteran treatment courts are a great start to addressing the crisis. Spending tax dollars on treatment is a far more logical and responsible approach to take as an alternative to allowing offenders to sit in jail, only to be released and re-engage in drug abuse that lands them back in jail. Drug courts help end the vicious cycle and get these individuals the help they need.

Q: What is the best way to solve the county’s office space shortage?

A: In the short term, the county should invest in electronic file storage and consider the benefits of space redesign, including the purchase of modular office furniture that can accommodate more staff within the same footprint. The county should take advantage of process improvement training offered by the local Workforce Investment Board to educate personnel on how to identify and correct inefficiencies.

Q: What would you do to improve the county’s tax base?

A: I look forward to partnering with local and regional economic development groups to promote Carbon County as a premier location for new industry capable of offering family sustaining jobs. This partnership would help connect industry with available land. Additionally, the Commissioners must work with municipalities to ensure personal agendas at the local level (e.g., overzealous zoning officers or building inspectors) do not interfere with job creation that benefits the residents of Carbon County.

Q: The Carbon prison is often nearing capacity and is now 25 years old. Normal wear and tear is starting to show. What needs to be done to keep the jail operating efficiently?

A: The drug courts could alleviate the capacity issue to some degree. Cleaning up the Clerk of Courts Office will get prisoners transferred in a timely manner and further assist with the capacity issue. Normal wear and tear should be addressed through an ongoing maintenance and repairs program. The staffing plan needs to be re-evaluated to improve retention, reduce turnover, and reduce overtime.

Q: What changes, if any, would you make to human services in the county?

A: Offices making up human services should be reviewed to ensure adequate staffing is in place, audit report findings are adequately addressed and performance measures such as response times are within mandated turn-around times.

Q: Are there any issues you have identified?

A: The people of Carbon County come from a long history of hardworking families with a solid work ethic and deep knowledge in their chosen field. Over the years since several industries have moved out or completely disappeared, our residents have gravitated outside the county to obtain a living wage. Carbon County must promote our hardworking, highly skilled and educated workforce to potential new industry and business with the goal of attracting them back home.

 

Tom Gerhard

Q: What is the biggest challenge facing the county and how would you resolve it?

A: Maintaining a balanced budget has always been our most challenging issue. County offices have seen gigantic increases in caseloads, requiring additional manpower and the need for space. These include court, magistrates, clerk of courts, probation, sheriff, collections and the prison.

I would continue the work of planning for the future with our space needs, and have meaningful discussions with officeholders and elected officials to strike a balance of staffing that is workable and affordable.

Q: Carbon County has made the news this year because of the Clerk of Courts misappropriation of funds. What steps would you take to improve accountability?

A: Carbon County has always had strong internal controls regarding its finances. Unfortunately, when persons in charge of handling money decide to misappropriate it, it is done deceitfully and with intentional effort to hide the transactions. I look forward to continuing the hand-in-hand work the commissioners’ office has had with the controller’s office, so there continues to be a steady awareness of who is handling money and how that money is being accounted for.

Q: What can the county do to solve the opioid crisis?

A: The opioid epidemic is a problem reaching far beyond Carbon County killing 130 Americans daily due to opioid overdose. Carbon County works collaboratively through Opioid Task Force to address the opioid epidemic and substance use disorder on a whole. Stigma is one of the largest issued needing attention. We need to treat substance use disorders as the disease it is and offer support and treatment to the individuals and families facing this problem in Carbon County.

Q: What is the best way to solve the county’s office space storage?

A: The county definitely needs office space, and it’s more complex than what the average person might think. The space needs to be in close proximity to the courthouse because the offices need to have daily interaction with court. I am in favor of building at the Susquehanna Street site. Going forward, we envision a modified plan, be certainly one that will be accommodating to offices and one that will meet the needs of the county for years.

Q: What would you do to improve the county’s tax base?

A: I would continue to be supportive of the Carbon Chamber and Economic Development Office in its efforts to retain jobs, support new ventures, and try to attract new industry. I would call upon and work with our state officials, representatives, senators and the governor’s office, as well as our congressman, to seek new opportunities to create jobs.

Q: The Carbon prison is often nearing capacity and is now 25 years old. Normal wear and tear is starting to show. What needs to be done to keep the jail operating efficiently?

A: Carbon’s jail has done well with respect to annual inspections by the Department of Corrections. While the facility is aging, the prison board has done an admirable job in maintaining it. Besides handling the wear and tear, I believe the programs we have started at the prison are integral to helping the overcrowding situation. Our efforts need to be focused on recidivism, so continuing those programs and being supportive of the court is paramount.

Q: What changes, if any, would you make to human services in the county?

A: The delivery of human services is one of the most important things counties do. They affect every aspect of the family. Aging, Drug and Alcohol, Developmental Services and Children and Youth interact every day with parents, children, senior citizens and persons living with disabilities (geriatrics, drug addictions, psychological difficulties.). I would encourage regular meetings with department heads to stay on top of these programs, so we can care for every person who needs assistance.

Q: Are there any issues you have identified?

A: The day-to-day work of the commissioners is challenging and ranges from finances, personnel issues to maintenance, parking, equipment and capital projects, and the list goes on. For the past 7 ½ years, I have worked hard in giving all of those issued attention and made decisions I felt were in the best interests of the county. I respectfully ask the voters for their support and pledge the same hard work I the future.

 

Chris L. Lukasevich

Background/bio: I graduated from Jim Thorpe High School in 1980, enlisted in the U.S. Army, and served 34 years before retiring in 2014. My career provided unmatched training, education, and leadership and management experiences that transfer seamlessly to the challenge of guiding and ensuring oversight for county government and its services. My MBA from Lehigh University adds immeasurable value to my practical experience in the management of personnel, budgets, contracts, projects, and organizational change.

Q: What is the biggest challenge facing the county and how would you resolve it?

A: Our biggest challenge we can affect is the tax burden on our most vulnerable, senior citizens. I propose an annually increasing .25 mill tax rebate starting at age 67 for seniors with a 10-year property tax paying history. The average 67 year old home owning senior would see a rebate of $19; at 70, $78; at 74, $160 etc. For widows/ers, the rebate would start at .50 millage points thus doubling the annual tax rebate.

Q: Carbon County has made the news this year because of the clerk of courts misappropriation of funds. What steps would you take to improve accountability?

A: County government departments must strongly discourage payments in cash, require mandatory separation of physical custody and reporting of cash duties, cross train office personnel to increase process awareness and sensitivities to irregularities, and establish a county fraud tip line. Additionally, oversight and auditing authorities for both the county controller and treasurer must be increased.

Q: What can the county do to solve the opioid crisis?

A: Unfortunately, the county can’t solve the opioid crisis; however, it can play a significant role in attacking the problem by supporting school age children education programs and ensuring that those afflicted have access to services. Most directly, access to services is dependent upon transportation, and this is our county’s weakest link. We must form a working group to focus specifically on enhancing transportation availability thru leveraging of public, private, and non-profit partnerships.

Q: What is the best way to solve the county’s office space shortage?

A: A financially responsible manner to resolve the shortage is reexamining feasible real estate throughout the county. This could include making offers on properties not formally for sale such as the Jim Thorpe Area School District Office (75,000 sq. ft.). We can’t discount the possibility, within any restrictions of The County Code, that properties outside the county seat might accommodate offices not requiring direct access to the courts such as we have with our Agency on Aging in Palmerton.

Q: What would you do to improve the county’s tax base?

A: Tax base improvement is dependent upon a plan of action, not simply mission and vision statements. We must set our target on 21st century businesses; not those hamstrung by road infrastructure but defined by bandwidth and data transfer rates. I will promote a long-range economic development plan that not only leverages our inherent strength, our natural environment, but challenges us to strive for opportunities and a quality of life that brings our children home.

Q: The Carbon prison is often nearing capacity and is now 25 years old. Normal wear and tear is starting to show. What needs to be done to keep the jail operating efficiently?

A: Prison population reduction, while difficult, is a viable way to extend the prison’s life span. We must seek out programs/facilities, short of prison, for individuals who don’t pose a risk to county residents. A key infrastructure life cycle replacement plan for critical components must be developed to forecast replacement sequencing and financing. Lastly, Prison mustn’t be comfortable but rather, within all standards of humane and dignified treatment, a place where one never wants to return.

Q: What changes, if any, would you make to human services in the county?

A: Besides developing an effective transportation plan for service users, I envision the creation of Innovation Working Group to develop pilot programs for enhancing processes, procedures, and the exchange of information between service providers. Additionally, the contracting of a county grant writer who works on a combined salary/commission basis would seek grant opportunities while allowing caseworkers to remain people-focused.

Q: Are there any issues you have identified?

A: There are no published methods and measures to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of county offices. County departments must establish realistic annual goals and officials held accountable for achieving them. A bi-annual State of the County Report should serve as an official forum for their presentation. We must set high expectations for our county employees while ensuring they have access to the training, education, and other resources to meet those expectations.

 

Wayne E. Nothstein

Background: Graduate of Lehighton High and Northampton Community College. PA State Fire Instructor. Eagle Scout and a Viet Nam era US Air Force veteran. Twenty year as a county commissioner, active member of CCAP (County Commissioner’s Association) vice chair of the Military and Veterans Affairs committee. Represent CCAP on the Sheriff’s and Deputy Sheriffs Training & Education Board in June of 2012. CCAP Emergency Medical Service Task Force. Fifty years as a volunteer fire fighter.

Q: What is the biggest challenge facing the county and how would you resolve it?

A: Our increased caseloads in the courts have required more personnel and space needs in various offices, including Adult Probation, Public Defender, District Attorney, District Magistrate Offices, and Sheriff’s Department and other offices seeking more hours or staff to handle the case loads. Work with Federal and State Legislators to develop more prison and court diversion programs. Children and Youth caseload has doubled in the last five years requiring more caseworkers.

Q: Carbon County has made the news this year because of the clerk of courts misappropriation of funds. What steps would you take to improve accountability?

A: The Clerk of Courts is an elected position which the courts or commissioner have little control over except for the budget. We have already begun the task of seeking legislation by submitting and having a resolution passed by CCAP at our August conference to require the row officer holders follow county personnel and financial policies. Most other offices already submit reports to the controller and commissioners.

Q: What can the county do to solve the opioid crisis?

A:We need to increase our prevention programs through early intervention programs. The Re-entry planning coalition, courts and Veterans and Drug Court help inmates get into programs that are comprehensive and customized to reintegrate inmates back into the community through a strong network of community and professional partnerships.

We need to work on addiction prevention, starting with the doctors who over prescribed the opioids. I would also increase education about the addictiveness of prescription drugs in our schools.

Q: What is the best way to solve the county’s office space shortage?

A: The ideal way to solve the county’s office space shortage would be to do more to reduce the need for the space by eliminating the drug problem as a start. This of course will take more than county commissioners to solve the problem and will not happen overnight. It requires total community involvement. Collaboration and communications needs to improve between the county and local municipalities, police, schools, public and human service organizations.

Q: What would you do to improve the county’s tax base?

A: Carbon County’s tax base has increased very little over the past several years; some reasons are the low property values and the absentee land lords and hold them accountable for their blighted properties. Our highway infrastructure needs to improve to attract larger businesses. Educate our local elected officials on incentive programs such as LERTA. Expand the Economic Development Corporations ability to help potential existing and new business owners.

Q: The Carbon prison is often nearing capacity and is now 25 years old. Normal wear and tear is starting to show. What needs to be done to keep the jail operating efficiently?

A: The existing prison water system is reaching its capacity. There is sufficient well water available to increase the pumping capacity with a higher volume pump. We are in the process of inspecting the water tank and plumbing to evaluate what is needed. The alarm system monitoring the tank level will also be upgraded to alert the communications center of low tank levels. All prison equipment will also have to be evaluated.

Q: Are there any issues you have identified?

A: We have no one person to oversee the daily operations of our human service agencies. Having a director to oversee our Human Services would help improve service, accountability and coordination with outside agencies and could be accomplished without hiring another person.

Lack of volunteers is a concern. We have already seen several ambulance stations close. Losing our volunteer firefighters would be a financial disaster for our communities and may lead to loss of properties and life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments
Community,

Good morning.

Rocky was also a Director on the Lehighton School Board. I though he missed this, but reviewing his history on that board, I can see why it was left off the bio. Can you imagine the county following the Lehighton school district path of debt, tax and spending? Ugh.

Incumbents in general are bad choices for the benefit of the community.

Gerhard and Nothstein can be nice people in private, but it is their sticky actions of government actions that expose their bias. We, as a community, need to regularly change the politicians in office. How could they miss the corrupt activities expose in the county? Worse, did they know and choose not to take action? Either way, sticky actions are common in community politics, and bad for the community. The answer, remove all incumbents.

Chose wisely, and the benefits of new politicians, anyone, is a lower risk than removing sticky incumbents. If the incumbents were good, they can still help, if bad, their wings and power are clipped. Another benefit to the community.

Sincerely,

Citizen David F. Bradley Sr.
If the current commissioners and overall county leadership have admirable records, those records should speak for themselves. The fact that these questions have to be asked of current elected officials instead of them profiling their accomplishments should speak volumes.
Community,

Good evening. Remove all the incumbents. When they get sticky, we lose.

How did this not get caught earlier?
LEHIGHTON, Pa. -- A former county clerk in Carbon County is charged with theft after police say he stole nearly $45,000 from the county over a five-year period.

Who's watching out for the taxpayers?

Sincerely,

Citizen David F. Bradley, Sr.

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